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Property buying companies, especially those in the sale and rent back market, have gained much attention in the press recently, and for all the wrong reasons. Despite the introduction of Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulations on 1 July 2009, many such firms are flouting the law and failing to register and in some cases homeowners are falling foul of unscrupulous dealers. It is not just sale and rent back companies which have the potential to misrepresent the interests of their clients, however, and care should always be taken when considering selling your house to any property firm.
With such a huge number of quick house-buying companies clamouring for your attention, deciding which ones can be trusted and which cannot might present somewhat of a challenge. With probably your biggest ever investment at stake, however, doing a bit of research could mean the difference between a hassle-free sale at a great price and even greater misery than that which necessitated the sale in the first place. Here, therefore, are a few ways that you can check out whether the quick house sale company that you are considering is legitimate and trustworthy.
Any business which provides nothing more than an e-mail address or mobile telephone number should be looked at twice. If they were to suddenly disappear off your radar, it could be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to trace them.
Bona fide registered companies are required to display certain of their company details on a variety of their company documentation. Run their company registration number through the Companies House website to make sure that it is legitimate and that any other details, such as the company name and registered address, tie up.
Firms which are reluctant to be tied down to a written code of practice or specific terms of service often have something to hide, and you could well find yourself facing small print and fees that you had not expected.
Tying clients in to agreements or conditions through the use of complicated language which is full of jargon is a ploy which some unscrupulous companies use. If the company you are considering does not explain precisely what they are offering in terms that you can understand, it might be worthwhile asking yourself why.
If you asked your local butcher about a particular cut of meat and he wanted to charge you for the information, you would walk right out of the shop, despite the fact that answering your question may have taken up some of his time. Be very wary of house buying companies that want to charge for consultations or offers as there is every likelihood that they are just looking to make a fast buck from those in unfortunate circumstances.
Legitimate companies are only too willing to let you know how happy their customers were with their service and will make their glowing testimonials a prominent part of their websites and other marketing materials. Do not just check whether past clients got a good deal in terms of cash, but check too to see whether the firm kept in regular contact, whether clients were handled sensitively and with respect and, if the company states that they help individuals in a variety of circumstances, see whether this is borne out by the feedback.
It is a sad fact that many house buying companies, whilst appearing to offer high percentages of market value for properties, actually base these on low valuations. Always make sure that the company you choose uses only independent surveyors who are registered with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
The Data Protection Act 1998 came into force on 1 March 2000. It sets out the type of information that businesses can hold about you, whether in the form of paper records or on computer, as well as your right to access this information and how the business may use it. Check that the company you intend dealing with is aware of its obligations in this regard and is transparent in its dealings.
All businesses receive complaints at some time and trustworthy companies are not only unafraid to admit this, but they also make provision for it through processes which are designed to treat clients fairly and which take their concerns properly into consideration. Any company which denies receiving complaints or has no process to deal with them should be looked at carefully.
Sell Quick is a UK registered company which specialises in buying residential properties quickly and which is founded on honesty, integrity and total commitment to high quality customer service. We would encourage any seller to check out, not only any other companies that you are considering dealing with, but also ourselves.
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SQ Property Investments Ltd - Head Office: St George's House, 56 Peter Street, Manchester, M2 3NQ - Company No: 08768424